Novell’s openSUSE 10.2 is an exciting desktop operating environment that includes or supports nearly every program you need for work and play. But there are those last few programs and issues that make openSUSE just short of perfect. Web browser plugins for some kinds of online content; MP3, Windows Media, and DVD movie playback support; and drivers for Atheros wireless devices and Nvidia and ATI video cards are the chief things holding openSUSE back for some users. This guide will help you remove as many of those barriers as possible.
It’s been said many times in many forums, blog posts, mailing lists, and comment sections: GNU/Linux won’t really go far as a desktop operating system unless it can play the same games that Microsoft Windows can. For years, TransGaming has tried to make the dream of running Windows games in GNU/Linux into reality, and to a small extent it has succeeded with its Cedega product (formerly known as WineX). Since development moves so quickly, it doesn’t make sense to review each individual point release, so this review will take a look at the state of Cedega circa version 5.2.7.
In an era when the next edition of Microsoft Windows is pushed back more than a year, and popular GNU/Linux distributions are almost expected to have their release dates delayed by weeks or months, it’s nice to know that at least one operating system releases on schedule without all kinds of showstopping bugs and problems. OpenBSD 4.0 was released on November 1 with its usual mix of new hardware support and enhanced operating system features. Read on for the full report.
The Lenovo ThinkPad T60p is the first ThinkPad to officially support GNU/Linux. Unfortunately that support is not quite as broad as some would like — you’re more or less forced to install and use SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 (SLED 10). The good news is, SLED 10 is a highly usable, stable, and configurable operating system. Officially you’re supposed to buy a support contract from Novell if you need help installing the operating system on a ThinkPad T60p, but if you’d prefer to do it on your own, this guide will walk you through the process.
MandrivaLinux (formerly MandrakeLinux) built its name and reputation on its consumer desktop products, but over the past two years its newer enterprise-grade GNU/Linux operating systems have been gaining momentum in a market traditionally dominated by Red Hat. Mandriva Corporate Server 4.0, released on September 19, is a major step forward not only for Mandriva, but for GUI-based server operating systems in general. It won’t sway any sysadmins who are comfortable with the CLI, but if you don’t have the budget to hire a good GNU/Linux sysadmin, you’ll have a much easier time with Mandriva Corporate Server 4.0 than pretty much any other server operating system.
In one respect, Gentoo Linux 2006.1 is the same as it’s always been, except with newer software on the installation media. Beginning with version 2006.0, though, a graphical environment was added to the live CD along with an installation program that rarely worked properly. The good news is, the installer works reasonably well in Gentoo 2006.1; the bad news is, it’s still quicker and easier to install by hand via the command line.
I’ve tested and/or reviewed every version of this operating system (now on its third name) since the first version, and each time I start out impressed but end up walking away disappointed. SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 is not an exception to this tradition. While it may be a decent desktop operating system, I can’t possibly recommend that sysadmins rely on SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 in a production environment.
At any given time, can you review your financial situation? At the very least, you’d have to carry your checkbook with you, and at most, you’d need Internet access to review your investment portfolio. Many people use programs like Intuit Quicken and Microsoft Money to more easily track their finances, but neither of those programs travel well. Inesoft Cash Organizer ’05 Premium fills that niche by giving you access to Quicken or Money data on your Pocket PC or Windows Mobile cell phone.
After suffering through version 1.0 many years ago, I thought Xandros would be the least likely of the commercial desktop GNU/Linux distributions to succeed. Each subsequent release since 1.1 has changed my mind a little bit, and now with version 4.0 of its home desktop edition, I’m at last convinced that Xandros is positioned for success. This should be the desktop operating system that you recommend to your Windows-hating friends and family.
CentOS 4 is built using the same source code as the industry-leading Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, and version 4.3 is commensurate with RHEL 4 update 3. Released in March of this year, CentOS 4.3 contains all previously issued bug fixes and updates. It’s not really a new release so much as it is the old release with all patches applied. This matches Red Hat’s own release cycle, which is designed to make upgrading and updating easier in businesses that require their systems to remain as uniform and predictable as possible. With the fading away of TaoLinux and White Box Linux, CentOS alone fills the huge gap between Fedora Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
When you’re done installing SUSE Linux 10.1 OSS, your desktop system is not complete. You might still need support for Java programs, Adobe Flash animations, PDFs, and RealPlayer and Windows Media Video files. You may also want to add support for playing DVD videos on your computer, and to try out the new XGL graphical toys. Here’s how to effectively make SUSE Linux 10.1 into the perfect desktop OS.
After a disastrous 5.X series, FreeBSD’s reputation for quality was mostly restored with version 6.0. Here we are at the first release milestone past that — 6.1 — and the good news is, it continues the upward trend. The (somewhat) bad news is, despite many little improvements, it’s still not perfect.
I skipped writing a review of OpenBSD 3.8 last fall because I was worried that I’d sound like a broken record. Every OpenBSD release is the same: a big pile of small yet significant changes, new tools, and expanded hardware support (especially where it concerns network devices). For as long as I’ve been doing OpenBSD reviews — two and a half years now — this pattern has remained unchanged. OpenBSD 3.9 is more of the same, with the sole exception that this release’s enhancements affect desktop users more than in the past few releases.
Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system has many shortcomings, many of which can be solved with add-on software. SPB Software House’s Diary program makes all of your most important information — tasks, email messages, calendar, and notes — visible directly on your start page. After two weeks of using SPB Diary, I’ve come to regard it as a necessity for Pocket PCs.
It’s been a while since I last reviewed Gentoo Linux because there haven’t been too many significant changes in the past few releases. I’ve been using it as my primary desktop operating system for a year and a half, though, and I’ve been running my main Web/email/database server on it since October of 2004. There’s a reason why I’ve stayed with it that long, both as a desktop and server OS — and there’s also a reason why I’m writing a review of the 2006.0 release after a long hiatus from Gentoo reviews.
Moving from Windows to GNU/Linux and need to take your saved email with you? Here’s how you can do it.
Back in November, VMware released version 5.5 of their Workstation virtual machine product. Overall it’s not a big improvement over version 5.0, but might be just the right “next step up” for those still on Workstation 4.x.
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